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"Present day students having no definite purpose, are essentially drifters, products of economic ease who live on the work of others," stated Dr. G. A. Coe, Professor of Religious Education at Columbia, at the third Intercollegiate Parley on American College Education held last week-end at Wesleyan University, in Middletown, Connecticut.
Dr. Coe's charge that only a small proportion of students can define their educational wants brought forth considerable discussion and refutation. The delegates demanded that education prepare them to enjoy life more in connection with the work they intend to take up, or that they be enabled to find a life of interest in college or get something out of college which would better fit them to follow their chosen road in life.
Compulsory Chapel Discussed.
Wants which were suggested by the delegates from about thirty colleges included the abolition of compulsory Chapel, better teachers, unrestrained and unlimited intellectual atmosphere, and professors with personality as well as knowledge.
Speaking on "An Evaluation of American Colleges," W. T. Foster '01, Director of the Pollak Foundation for Economic Research, and former President of Reed College, compared Harvard to Reed, to the advantage of the latter.
"College Man Thinking for Himself."
B. H. Bode, Professor of Education at Ohio State University, discussed "The College Man's Philosophy of Life." He stated that the college man is now thinking for himself, whereas forty years ago he accepted without question the philosophy which was handed him by his family and his alma mater. Professor Bode suggested a new teaching which will meet this point of view with a new interpretation, to give a unified view of life and present if in its bread aspects.
Natural Transition from College Urged.
Summing up the discussion with a talk on "What Then, Shall We Do About I?" Professor Bode held that students were evolving a new conception of culture in social terms and colleges must be so organized that the transition from college to life becomes a natural process and is not a sudden jolt. College education should give the ability to think straight. A social sensitiveness, an ability to enter into the views of other men must be built up around this.
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